Task force: Gatherings ‘essential’ for government, humanitarian services OK during lockdown

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 23 2020 11:57 PM

MANILA—The Philippine COVID-19 task force said gatherings are allowed during a lockdown, as long as they are involved in government services and relief programs. 

This was among the items listed in the revised omnibus guidelines released on Saturday for enhanced community quarantine related to the national anti-coronavirus program.

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“Gatherings that are essential for the provision of government services or authorized humanitarian activities shall be allowed,” the memo read. 

In an ECQ, members of NGOs and civil society groups with permission from LGUs are also allowed to operate using a skeleton force.

Non-essential mass gatherings — such as movie screenings, concerts and sporting events — remain prohibited until a modified general community quarantine is in place. Under a MGCQ, these businesses must operate at 50-percent capacity.

Government added that the following services can run at full capacity in an ECQ: 

  • Public and private hospitals;
  • Health, emergency and frontline services; 
  • Industries connected to agriculture, forestry and fishery and their workers, agrarian reform beneficiaries, fisherfolk and agri-fishery stores, and other components of the food value chain; and
  • Delivery and courier services for essential goods and other cargo 

Under the revised guidelines, employees of aviation schools in an ECQ are also allowed to go back to work “for purposes of the pilot’s recurrent training for flight proficiency and type rating using simulator facilities.”

The lockdown has incapacitated a number of industries, and rendered millions of people jobless.

Humanitarian activities, such as relief efforts and donation drives, have been launched to assist families without livelihoods.